Printing and Copying Relevancy in 2021

With our increasing reliance on digital files, cloud storage, and instant collaboration, it’s easy to think that hard copies and physical prints are losing their relevance in the business world. However, Konica Minolta and BPO Media partnered together to see if this was actually the case, and the findings show that printing and copying are just as important today than they ever have been. We’re looking more closely at the data to see if this is generational or specific to certain industries or if physical prints and copies are a universal need.

Are Printing and Copying Still Important in the Workplace?

new office copier

The respondents were separated into demographics between three groups:. 

  • Company size
    • Less than 1,000 employees: 70%
    • 1,000 – 10,000 employees: 17%
    • 10,000+ employees: 13%
  • Position within the company
    • C-Level: 13%
    • Managerial/Director: 30%
    • General staff: 57%
  • Age
    • 18 to 29 (Gen Z): 36% 
    • 30 to 44 (Millennials): 51%
    • 45+ (Gen X and Baby Boomers): 13%

Before we dig into the details of the survey, the “end user snapshot” asked “How important is using a printer or copier to your job?” Then, the responses were compiled into one. Over 75 percent of users said using a printer or copier is “somewhat to very important” to doing their job. 

While this shows that printing and copying are universal needs, there are specific vertical market groups in which printing is a greater necessity. 

  • 90 % of K-12 educators said printing and copying are important to their job;
  • 90 % of those in higher education;
  • 92% of healthcare workers;

Are Physical Prints Necessary When Working Remotely?

One may think that as more people are working remotely, the need for hard copies and prints would decrease. In fact, the opposite seems to be true according to this study. The respondents were asked “How has working from home during the coronavirus pandemic affected your printing and copying habits?” and the results were: 

  • 31% said they’ve made more copies and prints when working from home;
  • 28% said the same;
  • 37% said less;
  • 14% don’t use a printer or copier either at the office or at home.  

When they broke down these numbers by age, they found that 45 percent of Gen Z and 70 percent of Millennials were doing the same or more printing while working remotely during the pandemic while 68 percent of Gen X and Baby Boomers were doing the same or less printing. 

This shows that younger workers still rely on printing and copying to a greater extent than older generations and that the need for printers and copiers isn’t going away in the foreseeable future. 

Why We Still Need Copies and Prints

Now that we’ve looked at the data, let’s consider why physical prints and copies are necessary and valuable, even in a digital age.

Always Available


Having a physical copy of insurance information, tax documents, and human resources information means that it’s secure and available when you need it. If a computer isn’t working, the internet goes down, or there’s been a data breach, having physical copies ensures you always have vital information and documents. 


When you need to share information and resources, it’s important that the people with whom you’re sharing can access it. Printed materials are much more accessible, especially in schools and places where the intended audience may not have access to a computer or other device. 


Printing and storing confidential information prevents it from being altered or edited or even stolen in a data breach. Even if you keep a digital version of a document, you’ll always have the original in the event you have reason to believe the digital version has been compromised. 

Easier to Read and Use

Wide format documents and diagrams, such as maps, blueprints, and plans, have to be printed in order to be easily read and implemented. This is especially true on construction and jobsites where contractors, engineers, and designers need to see both small details and big picture issues at once which would be impossible on a computer or tablet screen. 

Improved Marketing

Digital marketing may be placed in front of more people, but potential customers are less likely to interact with website ads and sponsored advertisements than they are with physical media. Direct mail, fliers, and signs build stronger connections by creating a more personal feel, building trust, and tapping into haptic, or touch, memory. 

Contact Us to Purchase or Lease Office Printers 

If you need to purchase or lease a multifunction printer in Raleigh, CEI – The Digital Office can help you determine the best option for your office needs and budget. Contact us today at 919-781-8885 or fill out the form below to get started.